The IRS states that the heavy volume of refund inquiries during tax season means that the IRS anticipates both "Where's My Refund?" on IRS.gov and the refund feature on the IRS2go phone app will have limited availability during busier periods.
Due to the large number of inquiries and to avoid service disruptions, the IRS strongly urges taxpayers to only check on their refunds once a day. IRS systems are only updated no more than every 24 hours, usually overnight and the same information is available whether on the Internet, IRS2go smartphone app or on IRS toll-free lines. While "Where's My Refund" is updated nightly, your account will not change that frequently.
When to check status of your refund
Within 24 hours after they have received your e-filed tax return; or 4 weeks after mailing your paper return.
When the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund, you can see your actual personalized refund date. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days after they receive your tax return, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. 9 out of 10 taxpayers typically receive refunds in less than 21 days when they use e-file with direct deposit.
Where’s My Refund? has a tracker that displays progress through 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.
You should only call the IRS if it has been: 21 days or more since you filed electronically; More than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return; or The Where’s My Refund? tool directs you to contact them
Here are some tips to help taxpayers with their refund questions:
- Have the right tax information ready before using any of the IRS refund tools. This includes Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.
- You don't need to check Where's My Refund more than once a day as your information will not change.
- To avoid system delays, the best time to check on refunds is evening and weekends.
- There is no need to call the IRS about your refund; the telephone service has the same information that is available on Where’s My Refund."